Accused illegal resident used stolen SSN to gain employment, lawmen say
September 30, 2010 5:03 AM
Florida Freedom Newspapers
A traffic stop has resulted in possible federal action after Bay County Sheriff's Office deputies arrested a man accused of being in the United States illegally.
Salomon Lopez-Guera, 27, of 86 Sycamore St. in Greensboro, is charged with driving without a license, no valid vehicle registration and criminal use of personal identification.
Lopez-Guera was stopped by a BCSO deputy just north of the intersection of Hwy.231 and Hwy. 390 for a traffic violation. He did not have a license and the tag did not belong on the vehicle. The expiration decal on the plate was taken from a construction trailer in Tallahassee, according to a release from the BCSO.
A search of the vehicle revealed Lopez-Guera had been using a stolen social security number to gain employment at SK Enterprises, Inc. in Greensboro.
Lopez-Guera was taken to the Bay County Jail and held for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Accused illegal resident used stolen SSN to gain employment, lawmen say
Local police calls
September 30, 2010
Item 11. Police stopped a Chevrolet truck with an expired license plate around 2 a.m. Sept. 25 at Grand River and Farmington Road and found that all three men inside were not legally in the U.S. They all resided in Farmington area apartments. The 45-year-old driver provided a Mexican identity card and was taken into custody for having no valid U.S. driver's licence, registration or proof of insurance. The two others were ages 23 and 26. One had an ID card from Guatemala; another had a novelty international driver's license card and a failure-to-appear-in-court citation on a misdemeanor charge in Keego Harbor. Immigration officials were notified.
Illegal immigrant detained after traffic stop: Lyndhurst Police Blotter
Published: Thursday, September 30, 2010, 8:55 AM
ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT, MAYFIELD ROAD: A man was arrested after he was found to be an illegal immigrant after a traffic stop Sunday. His case was referred to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Accused Thief Caught Red-Handed
by Vanessa Inzitari
A Boston woman was arrested by Westport police Sept. 22 after setting off the alarm at Anthropologie Clothing at 1365 Post Road E. When police arrived, store security was detaining Diep Quach, 48.
According to reports, Quach set off the security alarm when walking out of the store. She had a black blazer in her purse, which she had not purchased. Quach told police she had purchased it earlier and was looking to return it. A bottle of perfume, which was not paid for, was also found in her purse. A search warrant obtained for her car turned up several other items of clothing from various stores.
Quach, who police said was also detained for immigration violations, was charged with sixth-degree larceny. She is due in court Oct. 7.
Vet Facing Deportation Faces Long Wait For Justice
Valente Valenzuela's Next Court Date Set For February 16, 2012
By Lance Hernandez, 7NEWS Reporter
POSTED: 5:50 pm MDT September 29, 2010
DENVER -- Valente and Manuel Valenzuela are settling in for the long haul in their battle against Homeland Security.
The government wants to deport the two brothers -- both Vietnam War vets -- because of questions about their citizenship and because both committed crimes years ago.
Valente told 7NEWS that he was involved in a domestic dispute. Manuel said his trouble involved resisting arrest.
Both brothers are bewildered by the government’s actions.
Though they were born in Mexico, their mother was a U.S. citizen who was born and raised in New Mexico.
Their attorney, Mariela Sagastume, said the brothers should have been granted citizenship when the family moved to the United States.
“We think it was an error,” Sagastume said. “The government gave them the wrong paper work.”
Sagastume said Valente’s court appearance Wednesday was to answer five allegations.
- That he’s not a U.S. citizen
- That he is a National of Mexico
- That he has been in the U.S. since 1955
- That he has been involved in domestic violence
- That he is deportable
“We believe he is a U.S. citizen,” she told 7NEWS. “And we believe he is not deportable.”
The Immigration Court judge set Valente’s next hearing date for February 16, 2012.
“It’s going to be stressful,” Valente said. “They’re going to drag this out.”
But his attorney said that’s how clogged Immigration Court is.
“I’m going to try to get an earlier court hearing,” Sagastume said. “The judge said he’d work with us on that.”
Family, friends and veterans from the American GI Forum rallied in front of the Immigration Court, before the hearing, to show their support of the two brothers.
“I think it’s absolutely terrible,” said Russell Lopez, Vice Commander of the Skyline Chapter of the American GI Forum. “I can’t believe it’s happening this way anyway.”
“It’s sad,” Valente said. “Forty-two years ago I was trained to kill. I was sent to an unpopular war and was decorated with a Bronze Star. I wasn’t called a criminal back then.”
“This is something they shouldn’t have to go through,” Sagastume told 7NEWS. “They fought for their country. They’re decorated war veterans and this is making them relive some of the bad memories they have from fighting in the war.”
“We feel deporting them is not the answer,” said Albert Gonzales, national commander, of the American GI Forum. “We feel there was an administrative error and that these men are indeed American citizens.”
Valente’s brother, Manuel, sat in on Wednesday’s hearing. He faces his own on January 4, 2011.
Manuel said he’s not looking forward to it.
“Homeland Security is supposed to protect the U.S. from terrorists, not deport veterans,” Manuel said.
When asked if he posed a threat to the U.S., Manuel said, “Never. I protected the U.S. I’m proud of the US.”
When asked about the possibility that he could be deported, Manuel replied, “My God, I’m a U.S. citizen. My life has always been here. My mother was born a U.S. citizen. I fought for this country.”
Both brothers told 7NEWS that they’re not fighting just for themselves.
“There are hundreds of military veterans who have been kicked out of this country,” Valente said. “There should be an investigation of what’s going on with Homeland Security.”
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Immigration Officials Deports U.S. Citizen To Save A Couple Bucks
posted by: Jessica Pieklo 9/27/2010
Proponents of the Arizona approach to immigration reform like to argue that it is easy to tell the difference between those who are in this country illegally from U.S. citizens. They should try telling that to Monica Castro.
After a violent fight with the father of her young daughter, Castro, a fourth-generation American citizen, fled to the local Border Patrol station. There she said she would provide the agents information about her daughter's father, a Mexican who was in the country illegally, if the agents would help her get back her daughter.
Castro provided agents the information they requested and, in the raid that ensued, federal agents seized, then deported, her daughter Rosa. Rosa, like her mother, is an American citizen. At the time of her deportation Rosa was only a year old.
It would be three years before Ms. Castro would see her daughter again.
Despite frantic pleas and legal action the U.S. government was little help to Ms. Castro in locating her daughter. All immigration authorities told the distraught mother was that her daughter had been sent to Juarez, Mexico along with the girl's father--who Castro was trying to protect Rosa from.
It wasn't until the girl's father was once again arrested for entering the country illegally that Ms. Castro had any hope of recovering her daughter. As part of his plea arrangement he agreed to return Rosa.
Castro's situation has garnered a lot of attention as a perfect descriptor of all that is wrong with immigration enforcement. Federal agents acted rashly and with incomplete information. Castro, a U.S. citizen, was treated with suspicion and derision because of her Latino heritage. The judicial system ignored her pleas along every step of the way.
When pressed for an explanation as to why immigration agents made the hasty decision to deport Castro's daughter their response strained credibility. According to the government, it would have been far to costly to figure out little Rosa's citizenship status prior to deportation. When asked to quantify just how much it would cost, immigration officials put the total at about $200.
That's right. The United States government deported a U.S. citizen, separated her from her birthmother for three years, just to save a couple hundred bucks.
Castro has petitioned the United States Supreme Court to take up her case, arguing that the border patrol agents should not take the place of family courts in making custody determinations.
Man charged with flashing in fountain
Police: ‘Urban camper’ exposed himself in Town Center
Posted: 8:07 PM Sep 27, 2010
Reporter: By Josh Green
SUWANEE — Police arrested a man on child molestation charges for allegedly exposing himself in an interactive fountain at Suwanee’s Town Center Park.
The 29-year-old suspect told police he was merely taking a bath at the popular greenspace.
Suwanee police arrested Nouan Phouanesouvanh on child molestation and public indecency charges Friday morning, after a woman told police he’d stripped to his boxer shorts, exposing and “massaging” himself as her young daughter was in the Big Splash fountain.
The mother told police she confronted the man, and he became irate. They exchanged a few words and he walked away — but not before she photographed him with her high-end digital camera, according to a Suwanee police report.
Responding police downloaded the images and issued a lookout. Another officer found Phouanesouvanh on the front steps of the Suwanee Public Library, the report states
“(He) stated he went to the water fountains to take a bath and was yelled at by a lady in the park,” the officer wrote.
Police determined Phouanesouvanh was the man in the photos and that his “bath” claims didn’t hold water. They arrested him without incident.
Jail records show Phouanesouvanh was cited Sept. 16 for urban camping, defined as sleeping, preparing meals or storing belongings on public property.
A native of Laos, Phouanesouvanh is being retained at the Gwinnett County Jail for federal immigration authorities, jail records show. He has no bond.
Bridgeton Blotter - 3 DWIs with ICE retainers
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
* Horacio V. Jimenez, 28, of American Avenue, was charged Friday with driving while intoxicated - he was also found to have an outstanding arrest warrant for hindering his own prosecution - after he allegedly drove his vehicle into a parked vehicle in the parking lot of De Olde Towne Tavern, on Pearl Street.
Jimenez allegedly pulled into the parking lot, hit the stationary vehicle and parked his car before entering the bar. A security guard at De Olde Towne Tavern reportedly witnessed the collision and called the police. Jimenez was found with a BAC over the legal limit of .08.
Officials estimated the damage to the parked car is worth less than $500.
Jimenez was lodged in Cumberland County Jail on an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer.
* Carman Diaz, 23, of South West Avenue, in Vineland, was charged Saturday with driving while intoxicated following a reported hit and run.
A motorist traveling on East Avenue, near Wood Street, in Bridgeton, contacted police stating the vehicle in front of him appeared to be moving erratically.
The erratic vehicle turned onto Irving Avenue and police followed. A parked vehicle in the path of the pursued car was found with heavy rear damage. The driver was eventually stopped on Irving Avenue, just outside Bridgeton city limits.
Diaz's BAC was allegedly more than double the legal limit of .08, according to police. The front end of his car sported heavy damage.
He is lodged in Cumberland County Jail on an ICE detainer.
* Juan M. Sanchez-Padilla, 42, of Faison Lane, in Fairfield Township, was charged Saturday with driving while intoxicated after he allegedly crashed into a house on the 200 block of Hamilton Street. He had reportedly been traveling south on West Avenue, when he crossed the intersection of Hampton Street, hitting the residence and its gas meter.
Sanchez-Padilla was taken to an area hospital for chest and shoulder bruises and later cleared. No others were injured. No BAC test was administered due to blood being taken at the hospital.
Damage to the house was estimated at "well over" $500, according to police.
Sanchez-Padilla is lodged in Cumberland County Jail on an ICE detainer.
Federal agents charge Mexican sold fake 'green cards'
Tuesday, September 28, 2010 08:48AM
- Andrew Wolfe
CONCORD - A Mexican man who had been kicked out of the United States twice before was caught selling counterfeit "green cards" in Nashua, according to federal immigration officers.
Israel Velasquez-Juarez, 34, a Mexican national, was arrested Sept. 20 after travelling to Nashua from the Boston, Mass., area to meet with an informant who had arranged to buy six sets of Permanent Resident (green cards) and Social Security cards for $1,260, according to an affidavit by Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent Jonathan Posthumus.
The defendant used the alias "Eduardo Garcia," but identified himself to ICE agents as Velasquez-Juarez, and his fingerprints indicate that he had been caught in the United States twice before, Posthumus wrote. Federal records showed that Velasquez-Juarez had left the country voluntarily in 2000, after being caught by the Border Patrol in El Paso, Texas, and was deported and handed over to Mexican authorities on Feb. 8, 2010 after being caught again in the United States, Posthumus wrote.
Questioned after his arrest in Nashua, Velasquez-Juarez said he'd snuck back into the country about three months ago, Posthumus wrote.
An informant told ICE officers last month of being able to buy counterfeit identification from a man named in the Boston area, and officers arranged for a second informant to call the man's Metro PCS phone, which was under the name of Eduardo Garcia in East Boston, Posthumus wrote.
The informant arranged to purchase six sets of identification, and sent "Garcia" photos and biographical information via cellular phone. ICE agents recorded their conversations as they made the arrangements, and the informant wore a concealed recorder while meeting with "Garcia" in Nashua on Sept. 20, Posthumus wrote.
"Following the exchange of money by CI 2 for the counterfeit documents, ICE Special Agents arrested the target of the investigation," Posthumus wrote, adding later, "The counterfeit documents purchased were taken into the custody of ICE as evidence and determined to be fraudulent based upon the training and experience of the ICE Special Agents examining them, and based upon the fact that there is no valid manner in which such documents can be legally produced utilizing photographs transmitted over a cell phone."
Velasquez-Juarez was arrested as an "inadmissible alien," and held in the Strafford County jail while awaiting his first appearance in U.S. District Court on charges that he possessed, transferred and sold counterfeit identification documents, court records show.
Man Arrested After Parking Dispute
29-year-old suspect allegedly struck victim.
By Nancy Isles Nation | 9:16am
A man was arrested on the 100-block of Canal Street after police said he began swinging a broken shovel handle at a victim he claimed was illegally parked on private property.
Edvar Oliver Camara-Yam, 29, was taken into custody at about 1:45 a.m. Sunday.
San Rafael Police spokeswoman Margo Rohrbacher said Camara-Yam was arguing with the victim and demanding that he move his car. He then went to his truck and grabbed the shovel handle and began swinging it at the victim's car.
When the victim protested, Rohrbacher said, Camara-Yam hit the victim on the arm with the shovel, causing an injury.
Camara-Yam was booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and malicious mischief. In addition, he was placed on an immigration hold. He is being held on $50,000 bail.
Two Broward men among four charged in drug and human smuggling operation (South Florida Sun Sentinel)
Two Broward men among four charged in drug and human smuggling operation
By Rachel Hatzipanagos, Sun Sentinel
6:43 p.m. EDT, September 28, 2010
Two Broward County men were arrested for their part in a failed drug and human smuggling operation, federal officials said Tuesday.
Luckson Morin, 38, and Guy Derilus, 54, both of Broward County, were charged with attempting to transport illegal immigrants. Morin also faces a drug-related charge. The two made their first appearance in federal court Tuesday in Fort Pierce.
According to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the men were involved in an incident on Sept. 26 when border protection officials came across a boat named "Who Cares" in the St. Lucie Inlet in Martin County. Officers boarded the vessel and inside found five people who said they were Haitian nationals. Officers also found four padlocked pieces of luggage with 78 bricks of cocaine inside, according to federal officials.
One of the passengers on the boat, Alphonse Pierre, a Haitian national, had the keys to open the luggage with cocaine inside. The captain of the boat, William R. Roberts, who said he was a Bahamian national, told agents that he was being paid to bring the boat to shore, officials said.
Agents set up an undercover operation the next day. They set up a meeting among Roberts, Derilus and Morin. During the meeting, Morin promised Roberts $3,000 per kilogram of cocaine, officials said.
Derilus and Morin were arrested after the incident, authorities said.
Roberts, 50, was charged with illegal smuggling. Pierre and Morin were charged with possession with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine.
MS-13 gang member arrested near Falfurrias
September 28, 2010 6:32 PM
FALFURRIAS — U.S. Border Patrol agents detained a member of the Mara Salvatrucha gang on Monday as he traveled with four illegal immigrants south of Falfurrias.
Agents noticed the man’s distinctive tattoos, and he admitted belonging to the gang, commonly called MS-13. The man told agents he was from El Salvador, and was not a U.S. citizen.
MS-13 has a reputation for extreme violence, and has spread throughout the country. Gang leaders reportedly operate from El Salvador and Los Angeles, officials said.
Three men and one woman travelling with him said they were Mexican citizens. All five will be returned to their countries of origin.
Online Exclusive: Potential PSU student deported
Hector Lopez deported weeks before bill comes before Congress
By Corie Charnley
Published: Tuesday, September 28, 2010
As the Senate voted on the DREAM Act last Tuesday-an act which would provide a path to citizenship for undocumented youth-a room full of M.e and elected officials, as well as University President Wim Wiewel, gathered to listen to 20-year-old Hector Lopez, a college student who was deported to Mexico three weeks ago.
Lopez moved to the U.S. illegally with his family when he was just one-and-a-half months old. He grew up in Milwaukee, Ore. and graduated from Rex Putnam High School in Portland, where he served as student body president. Lopez was also a Little League coach and a nominee for the national Alexander Hamilton Leadership award, and logged 600 community service hours.
After finishing high school, Lopez spent two years at Clackamas Community College. He has also taken classes at PSU and planned to transfer to the university to earn a bachelor's in Marketing, according to a press release.
"He was by any measure a stellar student and a classic candidate for the DREAM Act," said Anne Galisky, co-founder of Graham Street Productions and the director of "Papers," a documentary film about undocumented youth.
If passed, the DREAM Act would provide undocumented immigrants a path to legal residency if they attend college for two years or serve two years in the military. Those who would be eligible must have arrived in the country before the age of 16 and have lived in the U.S. for five years. In addition, eligible people must have graduated from a U.S. high school or have obtained a GED, and have good moral character.
Lopez was present via speakerphone from Mexico City during the press conference.
"I feel as though I've been stripped of my life just because I spent the first month and half of it from another country," he said. "I would say it is almost inhumane to send someone to a place where they've never been, have nowhere to stay and no way to earn an income"
On Aug. 23, Lopez said he left his house at around 7:45 a.m. to go to the gym. However, he was unaware that there was a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer following him. About four blocks from his house, he was pulled over and told there was a warrant for his arrest.
According to Lopez's lawyer, Siovhan Sheridan-Ayala, Lopez's family was ordered deported when he was nine. However, they never received a notice for a hearing. As a result, Lopez was oblivious to the fact that there had been a warrant out against him for 11 years.
The conference coincided with the Senate's decision to pass the DREAM Act, which was an amendment to a larger defense authorization bill that included the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. However, the bill failed in a 56-43 vote.
For more information about the status of the DREAM Act and how to lend support, visit www.dreamactivist.org.
Santa Clara County supervisors vote to opt out of Secure Communities program (San Jose Mercury News)
Santa Clara County supervisors vote to opt out of Secure Communities program
By Tracy Seipel
Posted: 09/28/2010 06:24:06 PM PDT
Santa Clara County Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously voted to pursue opting out of a controversial federal program that enlists local law enforcement in the war on illegal immigrants.
Called "Secure Communities,'' the program gives federal officials access to the fingerprints of people arrested in local communities. Law-and-order advocates say it's led to the deportation of tens of thousands of lawbreakers; immigrant rights and civil liberties groups say it focuses too much on low-level criminals and doesn't protect against racial profiling.
Rolled out in 2008 across the United States, it was only implemented in Santa Clara County in May. Tuesday's vote, which elicited resounding applause by activists, sends "a message to our residents that we are not going to create an atmosphere of fear in our community,'' said Supervisor George Shirakawa, who first brought the issue to the board's attention.
But, he said, the board's vote is "not the end of the issue... there is more work to be done.''
A seven-page memo released last month by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said local jurisdictions can choose not to participate in the program if they notify their state identification bureau -- in this case, the California Department of Justice -- and federal officials in writing.
Santa Clara County Deputy County Counsel Anjali Bhargava said her office now will do just that.
The state attorney general's office had previously denied a request from San Francisco officials to opt out of the program. But after the ICE memo last month, San Francisco set up a meeting with state and federal officials to re-examine the matter.
That meeting had been scheduled for Oct. 13. But on Tuesday, San Francisco Sheriff Michael Hennessey's office asked both ICE and the state Department of Justice to delay talks until after the November election.
"Secure Communities has become a highly charged issue in the Nov. 2 statewide elections,'' said Eileen Hirst, Hennessey's chief of staff.
Attorney General Jerry Brown, who heads the state Justice Department, is the Democratic nominee for governor, but Hirst said the sheriff's office was not pressured to delay the meeting.
Brown's office has repeatedly declined to comment on the matter. But Santa Clara County's Bhargavi said that in a recent phone call, the Attorney General's office said the state "will not impose an obligation on the county to participate."
However, Bhargavi added, only the federal Department of Homeland Security -- which oversees ICE -- can "de-activiate a jurisdiction" from the program, according to Brown's office.
ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice said her agency is willing to meet with Santa Clara County officials. But she also notes that in the four months since the program's activation here, ICE has taken custody of 339 deportable aliens, nearly 75 percent of whom are convicted criminals. That includes 98 people with prior convictions for serious or violent offenses, whom Kice said "might have been released to the streets without this important information-sharing capability.''
Santa Clara County leaders have said they never agreed to participate in the program but inadvertently play a role in it whenever someone is arrested and taken to the county jail. At that point, his or her fingerprints are sent to an identification system that is ultimately downloaded to the state Department of Justice.
That agency, in turn, has a practice of sharing information with the federal government for law enforcement purposes. The county doesn't object to that, but it does protest allowing ICE officials to access the information to verify immigration status.
Immigration Arrests 78 Convicted Illegal Aliens In Colo., Wyo.
Largest Immigration Operation In Colorado This Year
Posted by Wayne Harrison, Web Editor
POSTED: 3:17 pm MDT September 28, 2010
DENVER -- In the largest immigration operation in Colorado this year, 78 convicted criminal aliens, immigration fugitives and immigration violators were arrested during a three-day targeted enforcement operation by agents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations.
During the operation, which ended Sept. 23, ICE officers located and arrested 64 aliens with prior criminal convictions, including five gang members.
Some of the criminal aliens taken into custody had prior convictions for serious or violent crimes, such as homicide, selling illegal drugs, sexual crimes against children, resisting arrest and assault, vehicle theft and drunken-driving convictions, according to ICE.
In addition, 12 of the individuals ICE officers took into custody were immigration fugitives, aliens with outstanding orders of deportation who had failed to leave the country, the agency said.
Nine of those arrested will be presented to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for prosecution for illegally re-entering the United States after they had been previously deported, which is a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison, according to ICE.
Arrests were made in Aurora, Avon, Akron, Denver, Fruita, Sheridan, Glenwood Springs, Longmont, Greeley, Grand Junction, Clifton, Montrose, Northglenn, New Castle, Cortez, Lakewood, Sterling, Kiowa, Westminster, Fredrick, Edwards, Silverthorne, Platteville, Yuma, Thornton and Centennial in Colorado, as well as Wamsutter, Wyo.
"The fugitive and criminal aliens we targeted and arrested in this operation help make our Colorado communities safer," said John Longshore, field office director for ICE ERO in Denver. "Arresting fugitives and criminal aliens remains an ICE priority."
Of those arrested, 73 were men and five were women; 63 are from Mexico, three are from El Salvador and three are from Honduras. Citizens of the following countries represented one arrest each: Bulgaria, Colombia, Indonesia, Liberia, Mauritania, Poland, Senegal, Venezuela and United Kingdom.
Monday, September 27, 2010
HOMELAND SECURITY RAIDS: ICE operation nets 38 fugitives, those with prior convictions (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
HOMELAND SECURITY RAIDS: ICE operation nets 38 fugitives, those with prior convictions
By LYNNETTE CURTIS
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL
Sep. 27, 2010
Jose Martinez Cornejo did nothing wrong. Just ask him.
Well, OK, the 39-year-old admits, there was that one arrest for domestic violence. Oh, and that time, years ago, when he "supposedly" committed some robberies. But he was innocent.
Mostly, he has stayed out of trouble, he claims -- aside from a couple of traffic tickets -- since he came to the United States from El Salvador in 1986.
"I worked in this country for 20 years and paid taxes. I live with my mom," a handcuffed Martinez Cornejo said tearfully in Spanish Thursday while waiting to be processed by federal immigration officials at U.S. Department of Homeland Security offices near Pecos and Sunset roads.
The foot-thick file on Martinez Cornejo kept by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials tells a different story. He is a felon whose rap sheet includes arrests for domestic violence, theft and burglary. He also was ordered deported back to El Salvador a few years ago but never left the country.
That's why he was among those targeted during ICE's most-recent three-day fugitive operation in the Las Vegas Valley that netted 38 arrests. The operation focused on people who had prior criminal convictions and failed to leave the country after being ordered to do so.
Nationwide this year, fugitive operations teams nabbed 15,747 illegal immigrants who also had criminal records.
ICE invited the Review-Journal and a TV news crew to tag along with one of its six-agent fugitive operations teams for a few hours Thursday, the final day of the operation.
The team started before dawn at the ICE offices, where agents -- wearing bulletproof vests with the words "POLICE ICE" imprinted on the back -- were briefed on the morning's targets: five men who had been convicted of various charges including drug trafficking, illegally carrying a concealed weapon and burglary.
"These are not your regular, 'I just crossed the border to make a living for my family' guys," said the lead agent.
ICE officials asked that agents not be named.
Martinez Cornejo was the first target. The agents rode in several vehicles to his ex-wife's Henderson apartment, where he was last seen.
The six agents, along with three supervisors, an ICE spokeswoman, two reporters, two videographers and a photographer approached the apartment. Neighbors, including a half-dozen Mormon missionaries who apparently lived upstairs, gawked.
"We're not very inconspicuous, are we?" an agent said.
Martinez Cornejo wasn't there. His ex-wife said she kicked him out, and she had no idea where he was.
The agents moved on to the next target, a man who had several DUI convictions and was supposed to be in an apartment near McCarran International Airport. But he wasn't there, either. Instead, the agents talked to the target's brother, who said the man was in Los Angeles, visiting their father. The agents moved on.
"We're burning daylight right now," said Tom Feeley, ICE's deputy field office director.
The next target was a 40-year-old Brazilian man agents had been after for a long time. They recently got a tip that the man, who had been known to sell methamphetamine, was living with his adult daughter in a run-down apartment near Maryland Parkway and Russell Road. When agents arrived, the man's sleepy, barefoot daughter told them her father was living in a unit upstairs.
The daughter called the man on the phone and eventually coaxed him out of the apartment. He was heavily tattooed and shaking, and asked that the cameras be kept at a distance.
As the agents led him away in handcuffs from five family members, including a young boy, the man called out, "I love you. I love you."
Meanwhile, an agent thought he had located Martinez Cornejo at his mother's apartment about a mile away. When the agent called the apartment, Martinez Cornejo picked up the phone.
As agents approached the apartment, two girls with backpacks watched.
"Good morning," an agent called to them. "Have a good day at school."
Martinez Cornejo gave the agents no trouble and was quickly arrested. He walked, handcuffed, to ICE's van with a swagger.
Agents struck out with the last two targets of the day, neither of whom were at home. They headed to the office to process the two they captured. Several hours had passed.
Martinez Cornejo agreed to talk to reporters while he waited to be taken to the North Las Vegas Detention Center, which houses ICE inmates awaiting deportation or immigration court proceedings.
Martinez Cornejo said he had done nothing wrong, aside from that domestic violence incident and the "supposed" robberies. Still, immigration officials revoked his work permit several years ago, and he lost his job working conventions. Since then, he had been getting work here and there as a day laborer.
Martinez Cornejo said he has three children, two of whom live in Las Vegas with their mother. The third is a son, 19, who is in the U.S. Marine Corps and living in Virginia, he said.
"My son is defending the country that is doing this to me," he said.
Martinez Cornejo wasn't surprised he got picked up by ICE. He knew he was supposed to leave the country years ago.
"I stayed. I don't have anything in El Salvador. My kids are here. My family is here. What am I supposed to do?"
An agent allowed him to call his mother. Martinez Cornejo told her he was going to try to find a lawyer who will take his case for free. If all else fails, he said, he is not afraid of getting deported.
"It doesn't help me to be scared," he said, his eyes filling with tears. "I'm not going to cry."
Stuck between life, death and deportation
Boy faces battle with leukemia while father could be sent away from U.S.
Published: Monday, Sept. 27, 2010 1:11 a.m. MDT
By Reinaldo Escobar, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — A great responsibility lies in the hands of 4-year-old Johnathan. In a desperate race, he fights against time for his life and for his family. Two dark obstacles loom — leukemia and Immigration & Customs Enforcement. The first wants to take his life — and the second, his father.
In the same week that Johnathan's father, Javier's, case for deportation was opened, the little boy was diagnosed with leukemia. Johnathan has three siblings who also would be deprived of their father if he were removed from the country. Their mother, Claudia, and the other children pray that little Johnathan triumphs, not only because of their love for the littlest of the family but also because the suspension of the deportation of their father and husband depends on it.
If Johnathan passes away before the judicial decision, he and his three siblings will lose their father, says Aaron Tarin, the attorney who is representing the case.
"Because Javier has lived in the United States for the past 10 years without committing any crimes, has three children that are American citizens, and because his family is undergoing an exceptional and extremely painful event, Javier has a fighting chance to overturn the deportation," Tarin said.
The situation of Johnathan's family, aside from showing the effects of deportation on families, serves to shatter two myths that circulate among the public.
Several elements have been used to promote reform of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, to abolish the citizenship of the U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants.
The "anchor baby" theory dominates rhetoric, making the public believe that if an undocumented person has a child who is a citizen, the parent is entitled to American citizenship through them. This is false.
Immigration law does not transfer citizenship to the parents of American citizens; therefore, giving birth to a child in the United States does not facilitate American citizenship. And only if the child of an undocumented immigrant suffers an exceptional, and extremely painful, circumstance can suspending deportation be considered, and only then can residency become a possibility.
"Even if all the conditions present themselves, it is hard because the exceptional suffering must be proven before the court," says Tarin. Unscrupulous lawyers often take advantage of the undocumented immigrants' fear of being deported and separated from their children. They are forced to believe that there is a path to citizenship if they have a child who is a citizen.
Many attorneys and others who help with immigration documents knowingly offer to assist and even promise they can obtain a visa by these means and later inform the client they lost the case.
In reality, citizenship is obtained by different means. If the parent is a citizen, he or she can transfer their citizenship to a child who is not.
This situation opens the door to an even more serious problem that comes when children are lost due to deportation.
Although normally the children can leave along with their parents, there is a growing tendency of the court's decisions to remove children from custody of their parents, based on the immigration status of the parents, and the children are then left behind.
University of South Carolina law professor Marcia Yablong-Zug has identified three methods the courts use to decide whether it is in the "best interest" of children to be removed from their parents: The negative impact of being sent to the country of origin of the parents, the benefits of living in the U.S. versus any other place, and the growing demand from childless American families wanting to adopt. Yablong-Zug said that in some cases, it is even argued that the children are at risk because the parents speak Spanish.
Javier is in the process of deportation because on July 24, while he was depositing some waste at a dump in Saratoga Springs, a police officer arrested him for an alleged infraction.
Javier apparently needed a special permit from the city to use the dump for recycling purposes. The charge against him was third-degree felony theft.
Most striking is, that the following week at the court hearing in Provo, "the inconsistency shined through when the prosecutor did not even have the police report," Javier said.
After paying his bond, he was released from jail, but he is still awaiting a decision on his deportation.
Thanks to the help of his church and neighbors, he has been able to make ends meet, since as a result of his detention he lost his job.
He also lost his truck and his personal belongings, which were seized at the dump. A couple of days later he received the news about his son's terrible disease.
But the family's misfortune in health has become a lifeline for them, who now embrace the hope of not being separated.
Deportation tears apart families, some say
Break the law and risk getting booted, federal government says amid crackdown
BY TRESA BALDAS
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
POSTED: SEPT. 26, 2010
Eivan Kashat, a housewife and mother of four, is facing the prospect of being torn from her kids and deported to Iraq because of two weak moments in a department store several years ago.
In 1996, at 23, she was convicted of shoplifting a pair of shoes, a toy and some clothes from Montgomery Ward. In 2002, she was convicted again, this time for stealing from Lord & Taylor.
It was those misdemeanor convictions -- spotted in a recent criminal background check run during Kashat's green card renewal -- that brought federal agents to her doorstep in Farmington Hills at 8 p.m. Aug. 31, the night she and 28 others in metro Detroit were arrested in a Midwest sweep that netted 370 arrests for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office (ICE).
Lawyers who handle immigration cases, as well as some legal experts, say such sweeps are part of a stepped-up national effort to thwart illegal immigration as the debate rages in Washington over comprehensive immigration reform, including efforts that could give some illegal immigrants a path to citizenship.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, a record number of nearly 400,000 immigrants were deported last year -- more than double the number of those deported since the start of the decade. About half of the deported are convicted criminals; the other half are just in the U.S. illegally.
Those arrested in metro Detroit included child molesters, drug dealers, a man who beat his wife, embezzlers and Kashat, the shoplifter.
"Why aren't they exercising some discretion? ... She's certainly not dangerous," argued William Swor, who helped Kashat get released from jail on a $3,000 bond. Her next step is fighting deportation.
Rebecca Adducci, ICE's assistant field director in Detroit, said the answer to Swor's question and the message to those in the country illegally is simple: "You can't come here and commit crimes and expect it to just be OK," she said.
Attorneys who specialize in representing clients who illegally enter the United States say the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office is cutting deeper into the immigrant community than ever before, tearing families apart and triggering a firestorm of public controversy.
"I think they're pushing as hard as they can," said Andrea Ferrara, a 15-year veteran immigration attorney who has numerous clients with deep roots in the U.S. facing deportation, some have seriously ill children.
"There's an effort to remove and purge as many illegal aliens out of the country before the laws change to give amnesty to folks who've been here a long time," she said.
Federal defender Rafael Villarruel, who has handled immigration cases in Detroit for 25 years, said he has witnessed the same.
There's a trend in which immigrants who have spent a big chunk of their lives in the U.S. are being sent back in record numbers, he said.
"It's offensive. It's repugnant," he said of the deportation movement, saying the government needs to make "some humane decisions about how we're going to treat people who have been here for a long time."
Federal officials say the number of deportations has increased, with ICE hitting a high last year of more than 393,000 people. Between 1998 and 2007, a little more than 100,000 parents who entered this country illegally but had U.S.-born children were deported, according to the Homeland Security Department.
Attorney Swor, whose client, Kashat, is facing deportation to Iraq over years-old shoplifting charges, said: "She got herself together. She got the help she needed. The fact is her family needs her."
Adducci explained that under immigration laws, if a person has been here for more than five years, even with a green card, and commits more than two crimes of moral turpitude -- basically immoral crimes -- that makes them automatically removable. Such crimes include retail fraud and larceny, but not, for example, writing bad checks or drunken driving. She couldn't explain why.
Adducci also noted that in recent years, federal prosecutors in Michigan have been "vigorously prosecuting" illegal re-entry cases, hoping to deter others from creeping back across the borders. Such prosecutions have tripled in the last two years, she said, noting that too often, people ignore deportation orders.
Take for example the case of Rodrigo Guizar-Vieyra, who according to court records, has been deported to Mexico five times since 1996, but keeps coming back. He has been arrested in Pontiac, charged with illegal re-entry.
"It happens quite frequently," Adducci said of repeat offenders, stressing that all immigration laws are being vigorously enforced. "You're always at risk of being arrested or removed if you are here in violation of the immigration laws."
None of this bodes well with Ivan Nikolov, 22, of Roseville, whose fight to avoid deportation to Russia has raised a public furor and drawn the support of U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat.
Nikolov has been here since he was 11. ICE claims that he was brought here illegally by his parents. The family says the father split years ago, and that Nikolov and his mother started a citizenship process.
That process was stopped, Nikolov said, all because his mother missed a court date. That led to agents raiding their home May 5, his mother being deported and ICE now moving to deport him.
"We weren't hiding. We had Social Security numbers. We had a house," Nikolov said. "It doesn't even make sense. ... I've never broken a law. I grew up in this country. My entire life is here."
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Demonstrators at York County Prison want detained Cambodian-Americans released
The men are leading productive lives and have been caught up in a federal effort targeting 'criminal aliens,' protest organizers say.
By EMILY OPILO
Daily Record/Sunday News
Updated: 09/25/2010 07:14:54 AM EDT
Ana Cruz is nine months pregnant, but her husband, Chally Dang, probably won't be there for the birth.
Dang and several other members of their Philadelphia Cambodian community are being detained at York County Prison for possible deportation as part of a roundup of immigrants with criminal records.
Although Dang, now 28, came legally to the United States from Cambodia as a permanent resident, he was convicted of aggravated assault at age 15 and served time in prison. Under U.S. law, that conviction can affect his immigration status.
But since then he's become a father, a husband and a productive member of society, Cruz said. That's what brought a group of at least 30 members of Dang's community to York County Prison on Friday to protest his detention.
"I'm afraid," Cruz said, one hand resting on her pregnant belly. "Right now, it's just a waiting game. No one tells you how long it's going to take."
Dang and the others detained this week were summoned to the local Immigration and Customs Enforcement office for what they believed was a routine visit, said Raymond Ros, one of the protest's organizers. They were shocked to hear that they would be deported, he said.
All of them have served time in prison, Ros said, but those charges were in their youth. With permanent resident status, they all have jobs, take care of families and pay taxes like a citizen, he said. Dang has worked as a truck driver since he was released.
"Basically we're just trying to send a message that this is unlawful and inhumane," Ros said. "We want to ask them to look at the cases individually and look at what these people have been doing."
Mark Medvesky, an ICE spokesman, said the men were detained because either they were seen as "a threat to public safety or they would not leave the country as ordered." Medvesky would not comment on when the men were scheduled to be deported.
Members of the crowd outside the prison drove two hours from Philadelphia to express their support for the detained. Many carried young children, several belonging to the men inside the prison.
Savon Youk of Philadelphia brought his two teenage daughters wearing T-shirts that read "Free My Uncles." Youk's brother-in-law Mout Iv was one of the men facing deportation.
Iv was convicted of a crime when he was young, but he owns a barbershop now, Youk said. If he's deported, he will have to leave his 3-month-old child, he said.
"I heard about the United States of America as a place of freedom, democracy, free speech, human rights," he said. "But when they did this to them, it is not democracy. It's not human rights."
Deputies stumble onto house full of suspected illegal immigrants
By Guillermo X. Garcia - Express-News
Web Posted: 09/24/2010 8:50 CDT
Nearly a dozen suspected illegal immigrants were detained Friday afternoon after Bexar County deputies stumbled onto them while responding to a stolen car call.
The owner of a stolen vehicle and work trailer had reported that a GPS unit indicated the vehicle and trailer were at a home in the 11000 block of Jarratt Road, in rural, far southwestern Bexar County near the Medina County line.
Deputies questioned a woman and entered the home to discover “12 males and one female” believed to be illegal immigrants, said Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Linda Tomasini.
As deputies were securing the scene, three of the men ran. Deputies caught one in a wooded area and handcuffed him to a fence while they pursued the other two, Tomasini said.
Unable to find them even with the help of a San Antonio police helicopter, deputies then discovered the handcuffed man had slipped out of the cuffs and escaped, Tomasini said.
By the time U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrived, one of the three escapees had returned voluntarily, she said. ICE then took custody of the 11 remaining suspects.
It was not immediately clear if those detained included the residents of the home or traffickers.
A search was on for the two escapees.
Police charge illegal immigrant with indecent exposure
Published: Saturday, September 25, 2010
By LAUREN MCCORMACK, Staff Writer
AVONDALE — Police have charged a suspect with following two teenage girls to a park then indecently exposing himself to them.
The 39-year-old man's name has been withheld, but police said he is an illegal immigrant currently in custody and awaiting deportation.
According to police, the suspect followed a 13-year-old and a 14-year-old between 4 and 4:30 p.m. Sept. 19 into the Pomeroy Park. He exposed himself to them and simulated a sexual act on a plastic dinosaur in the park before fleeing, police said.
The man was arrested by police a few hours later on a public drunkeness charge and was quickly identified as the man responsible for the earlier incident, police said. Immigrations authorities were notified of his illegal status, and he was being held in Montgomery County prison to await deportation, police said.
ICE arrests 32 in Atlanta-area operation targeting criminal aliens and immigration fugitives (Borderfire Report)
ICE arrests 32 in Atlanta-area operation targeting criminal aliens and immigration fugitives
Saturday, 25 September 2010 07:44
Atlanta - More than 30 criminal aliens, immigration fugitives and immigration violators are facing deportation and criminal charges following a four-day enforcement operation spearheaded by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Fugitive Operations Teams (FOTs) in the Atlanta area.
During the operation, which concluded today, ICE made a total of 32 arrests in Houston, Peach, Bibb, Dougherty, Toombs, and Thomas counties.
Of those taken into custody, 13 were aliens with prior criminal convictions, four had been previously deported who returned to the United States illegally after being removed, and 15 were immigration fugitives who failed to comply with a final order of deportation issued by an immigration judge.
Their criminal histories included prior arrests and convictions for a variety of violations, including reentry after deportation, driving under the influence of alcohol, weapons violations, and assault and disorderly conduct among others. Since many of the individuals have outstanding orders of deportation or have been previously deported, they are subject to immediate removal from the country.
"A top priority for the Atlanta Field Office is to locate and arrest criminal aliens and ultimately remove them from our country in a safe and humane manner," said Felicia Skinner, field office director of ICE ERO in Atlanta. "This operation is yet another example of the critical roles that multi-agency cooperation and targeted immigration enforcement play in protecting our communities."
The U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia has accepted prosecution for the four aliens who reentered the U.S. after being deported. If convicted, they face a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
The remaining aliens will be held by ICE pending the completion of their criminal cases, a hearing before an immigration judge, or the completion of travel arrangements.
The group included 13 males and two females from six different countries - Mexico (13), El Salvador (2), Guatemala, (9), Honduras (5), India (1), China (2).
This enforcement action was spearheaded by ICE's Fugitive Operations Program, which is responsible for locating, arresting and removing at-large criminal aliens and immigration fugitives. ICE's Fugitive Operations Teams (FOTs) give top priority to cases involving aliens who pose a threat to national security and public safety, including members of transnational street gangs and child sex offenders.
In fiscal year 2010 (through Aug. 20), ICE's FOTs nationwide have made 30,787 arrests. More than 89 percent of those arrests involved immigration fugitives and aliens with prior criminal convictions.
As a result of the FOT's efforts, the nation's fugitive alien population continues to decline. Estimates now place the number of immigration fugitives in the United States as slightly under 525,000, a decrease of more than 71,000 since October 2007.
ICE's Fugitive Operations Program is just one facet of the Department of Homeland Security's broader strategy to heighten the federal government's effectiveness at identifying and removing dangerous criminal aliens from the United States. Other initiatives that figure prominently in this effort are the Criminal Alien Program, Secure Communities and the agency's partnerships with state and local law enforcement agencies under 287(g).
Friday, September 24, 2010
28 Immigrants With Ties To Gangs Arrested
Feds Say Many Will Be Deported
POSTED: 12:56 pm CDT September 23, 2010
NEW ORLEANS -- Twenty-eight people with ties to the MS-13 and Latin Kings gangs were arrested and several will be deported after a three-day operation, immigration officials said.
The effort culminated Wednesday and was spearheaded by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau, with help from border patrol, the Kenner Police Department, Louisiana State Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Of those arrested, 18 are from Mexico, six are from Honduras, three are from El Salvador and one is from Guatemala, according to a news release.
Investigators said five of those arrested will be considered for federal prosecution for re-entry after deportation -- a federal violation that carries a potential penalty of up to 20 years in prison -- as well as charges of fraud and misuse of visas and misuse of Social Security cards. Another individual faces state prosecution on drug charges, investigators said.
Those foreign nationals who are not being prosecuted on criminal charges are being processed for removal from the United States, officials said.
"Street gangs account for a significant amount of crime at both the national and local levels," said Raymond R. Parmer, Jr., special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in New Orleans. "HSI works closely with our local law enforcement partners to identify, locate and arrest these gang members to thwart criminal activity in our communities. Ultimately, ICE deports them."
Restaurant operator arrested by ICE
Published Thursday, September 23, 2010 7:34 PM MDT
GRANTS - U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement officers were in Grants early on Sept. 17. Ben Lu, co-owner of the Asian Buffet on Grants' eastside, was their target and he was nabbed at approximately 10:15 a.m. by ICE officers in front of his restaurant while other employees observed.
According to Tony Mace of the Cibola County Sheriff's Department, there was a warrant for Lu's arrest because he had violated his immigration status in New York.
“The ICE officers really didn't have much to say,” said Mace. “All I know is that they wanted Lu and had a warrant for his arrest stemming from Lu violating his immigration status in New York.”
Oxnard businessman and his son charged with hiring illegal immigrants
September 24, 2010 | 7:44 am
-- Sam Quinones
The owner of an Oxnard metal-casting company and his son, an executive with the firm, have been charged with knowingly employing illegal immigrants, authorities said Friday.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials Thursday arrested Wayne Haddox, 67, owner of Masters in Metal, and Dennis Haddox, 37, the company’s vice president, authorities said.
The charges grew from a 2007 investigation when ICE investigators allegedly found 16 employees at the company had false permanent resident alien cards, also known as green cards. The company told investigators the workers had been fired.
Later, officials said, they received information that two of the employees had remained on the payroll and Wayne Haddox told them to go find “good” Social Security numbers.
The charges carry a maximum of six months in federal prison.
In another action, on Sept. 14, ICE agents arrested the manager of a Bell personnel agency for hiring illegal immigrants. Luis Gasca, 33, of Parker Personnel was also charged with providing workers with counterfeit immigration documents.
Parker Personnel provides workers to bonded customs warehouses in Southern California. Officials said the charges stemmed from federal inspections designed to improve security at freight-forwarding and in-bond warehouses, which are crucial links in the country’s import-export process.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Oak Lawn blotter 9/23
September 23, 2010
Froilan Martinez-Nunez, 21, 5700 W. 108th St., Chicago Ridge, was charged with driving without a valid license and speeding during a Sept. 14 stop at 87th Street and Parkside Avenue, police said. They said Immigration and Customs Enforcement took Martinez-Nunez, a Mexican citizen, into custody.
2 From US Face Human Smuggling Charges
Police Arrest 11 After Traffic Stop
POSTED: 1:05 pm MST September 22, 2010
PHOENIX -- Two U.S. citizens were among 11 people arrested Tuesday night on human smuggling charges, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies stopped a vehicle driven by 34-year-old Todd Bartlett and 47-year-old Fonna McCullar, both of Phoenix, at a traffic stop in north Phoenix, deputies said.
Deputies said nine other occupants were inside and in their ensuing investigation they determined that the vehicle was being used to smuggle humans. The nine passengers are from Mexico and Central America, deputies said.
Intelligence reports suggested drug and human smuggling organizations have started recruiting U.S. citizens, according to the sheriff's office.
"Apparently, the smugglers have bought into the false notion that our detectives are only looking for people who appear to be from Mexico," said Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
MCSO is currently under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice over allegations of racial profiling.
Bartlett and McCullar have been charged with a class four felony for human smuggling.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Driving without license, pants
(From Public Safety Log)
Friday, Sept. 10, 2010 | Posted: Friday, September 10, 2010 3:00 pm
Linn County Sheriff
During a traffic stop at 12:01 a.m. today, the driver was found to have no license — and no pants. According to a deputy, the 17-year-old Harrisburg girl was asked to drive the car by Fernando Perez Perez, 24, of Lebanon, who was intoxicated. A deputy pulled the silver Jeep Grand Cherokee over for erratic driving. The girl was cited for no license, careless driving and curfew violation and returned to her parents. Perez was arrested for reckless endangering and cited for providing a vehicle to an unqualified driver. He was lodged at the Linn County Jail on the charge, as well as an immigration hold. He is expected in Lebanon Justice Court on Oct. 7.
Man guilty of annoying girl, child porn
By SALVADOR HERNANDEZ
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
Published: Sept. 14, 2010
STANTON – A 24-year-old man accused of taking pictures of a 12-year-old girl outside a library pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges Monday, officials said.
Alejandro Lorenzo Contreras agreed to a court offer on Monday where he pleaded guilty to charges of possessing child pornography and child annoyance.
He is expected to be sentenced to one year in jail and three years of probation. Contreras would also be required to register as a sex offender, according to prosecutors.
Contreras was taken into custody on July 13 outside the Stanton Public Library, after police said he followed three girls into the library. Contreras continued to trail the girls and asked one 12-year-old if she could take a picture of herself and send it to his cell phone.
The girl called police.
When Contreras was taken into custody, deputies found a pornographic image on his cell phone that depicted another child.
Investigators also searched Contreras' home computer.
Contreras is being held at Theo Lacy. Officials believe Contreras may be in the country illegally and is being held in lieu of bail on an immigration hold.
Cobb courthouse checks net two illegal immigrants
By Janel Davis
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
9:55 p.m. Friday, September 3, 2010
Sheriff's investigators Thursday arrested two workers authorities said were using fraudulent documents while working on the Cobb County courthouse construction project.
Thursday’s arrests are the latest in a series of arrests made by the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office since August, when the agency began security checks of all workers on the courthouse project.
The two workers were taken into custody and are being held for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Marina Escalante and Jose Antonio Chavarria were hired through a temporary service to provide cleanup services on the $63 million project.
Escalante, 37, was arrested at the construction site. Chavarria, 32, was arrested in Atlanta.
A Sheriff's Office incident report says that while filling out a background check consent form on Aug. 18, Escalante listed a Social Security number belonging to a man in Longview, Texas, and a fradulent Permanent Resident Alien Card with a number that returned as a test number used for training purposes. Authorities say Escalante, who is from Chiapas, Mexico, admitted paying a coyote, or human trafficker, $2,000 to illegally enter the U.S. two years ago. Authorities also said she paid a person on Buford Highway $65 for the illegal identification cards.
Chavarria is accused of listing a false name and Social Security number on his Aug. 19 consent form and submitting a fraudulent Permanent Resident Alien Card. The Social Security number was an unassigned number, and the alien card number was assigned to someone else. Authorities said Chavarria, who is from Colon, Honduras, admitted to illegally entering the United States two years ago at a border crossing between Mexico and Texas. They also said he paid a person along Buford Highway $65 for the illegal documents.
As of Aug. 11, background checks have been completed on 760 workers.
Eight other workers have also been arrested on outstanding warrants, but not on charges of breaking immigration laws. The warrants came from other counties and involved offenses such as probation violation, nonpayment of child support and aggravated assault.
"In reviewing all of the arrests that resulted from this screening process, it is incredible to me that these individuals are so bold as to believe that they can violate the law and not face the consequences," Cobb Sheriff Neil Warren said in a statement about the illegal immigrant arrests Friday.
Warren was unavailable when repeated requests were made for interviews by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
After hearing from constituents still concerned about the possibility of illegal immigrants working on the courthouse project, county officials announced the sheriff's involvement.
Despite the project’s history, Warren has said the background checks were not put in place specifically to catch illegal immigrants.
Warren has said the security screenings are necessary now that the new courthouse has reached the stage where it will be connected to the existing judicial complex. He likened the courthouse background checks to those done on construction workers who built the new jail.
Conducting the background checks is not out of the ordinary for a sheriff's office, said Terry Norris, executive director of the Georgia Sheriff's Association. "It does not seem alarming at all to me. It is certainly something that the sheriff has the authority to do."
Since the Sheriff's Office took over the security checks, Jobs for Georgians -- an industry watchdog group -- has been satisfied, said John Ciancia, a representative for the group.
In February, 10 bricklayers and their foreman, Victor Candelaria, were removed from the job when it was found that their boss, a contractor for Zebra Construction, had not verified that they were legally allowed to work in the United States. Candelaria was later allowed back on the project.
State law requires contractors and subcontractors on public jobs to use a federal program called E-Verify, which runs names through a database and checks Social Security numbers and immigration information to ensure a person is allowed to work in the United States.
Cobb County Commission Chairman Tim Lee plans to request a review by the county manager of the county's procedures "so that we don't have this come up in other projects," he said.
There is no additional cost to the Sheriff's Office to perform the background checks other than man-hours, sheriff's spokeswoman Nancy Bodiford said. "Such checks are just part of staff duties."
Man arrested at weekend football game
Reported by: Robert Byers
Last Update: 9/14 4:51 pm
RED BAY, Ala. (WTVA) - A man has been arrested in Red Bay, Alabama, after authorities say he tried to lure a child into a bathroom during a parks and recreation football game this past weekend.
Police say 23 year old Amner Obel Lopez Figueroa from Guatemala had been living in the area for the past few weeks.
He faces a charge of enticing a child for immoral purposes, which is a felony.
Officials tell us when the suspect tried to get the child to go into the bathroom at a local ball field, the young person was able to get away.
Police were then called to the scene.
The suspect and two others who were with him are being held for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Area Police Reports
POSTED: September 22, 2010
FALCONER - Wesley E. Gregg, 51, of Dundonald, Northern Ireland, was charged with being an illegal immigrant Tuesday after officers found him sleeping in Davis Park in Falconer. The United States Border Patrol was notified and Gregg was taken into custody and turned over for deportation to Northern Ireland.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Houston native wrongly deported for 85 days
Immigration attorney says client is considering lawsuit
By SUSAN CARROLL
Sept. 13, 2010, 11:40PM
Nearly three months after U.S. immigration officials dumped Luis Alberto Delgado in Mexico despite his insistence that he is a U.S. citizen, the 19-year-old was permitted to re-enter the country last weekend with the U.S. government's blessing.
Delgado said U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents cleared him to return to the United States on Friday, roughly 85 days after he was detained by immigration officials and pressured to sign papers that cleared the way for his removal to Mexico.
Steven Cribby, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, declined to comment on Delgado's case.
On Monday in Houston, Delgado said he was pondering a lawsuit against the U.S. government, calling his case "an injustice."
U.S. Border Patrol agents detained Delgado after a traffic stop in South Texas on June 17 and held him for eight hours, questioning him about his citizenship.
Delgado said he gave immigration agents a copy of his birth certificate showing he was born at Houston's Ben Taub Hospital, a state of Texas identification card and a Social Security card.
Lack of fluency
But Delgado, who was raised in Mexico after his parents divorced, said immigration agents were suspicious of him because he did not speak English well, and insisted the paperwork he carried belonged to someone else.
Delgado said he eventually signed paperwork that resulted in his removal to Mexico because he wanted to be released from immigration custody, and thought he could fight his case from Houston.
"I believe (the agents) discriminated against me because I didn't speak English," he said. "If you don't speak very well, I think they just assume you're Mexican."
Isaias Torres, a Houston immigration attorney who took Delgado's case pro bono, said he believes the U.S. government was "at best, very negligent" in its handling of the case.
U.S. immigration officials have faced scrutiny in recent years over allegations that they have deported U.S. citizens, including a high-profile case of a mentally disabled Los Angeles man who was lost for months in Mexico in 2007.
Estimates of the number of U.S. citizens deported from the U.S. vary widely, and such statistics are not officially tracked by U.S. immigration officials, who recently adopted guidelines designed to prevent such deportations.
Torres said the government should not tolerate discrimination against U.S. citizens and legal immigrants who do not speak English fluently.
"I don't believe this is an isolated incident," Torres said.
He said such cases will become increasingly common because the U.S. government is deporting parents with U.S.-born children. Between 1998 and 2007, the United States removed 108,434 illegal immigrants with U.S. citizen children, according to a 2009 Department of Homeland Security report.
Delgado said he does not speak English well because he and his brother moved to Mexico with their mother after she divorced their father, who lived in Dallas. Delgado moved back to Houston about three years ago.
"This is not an anchor baby," Torres said. "He was born here and his mother moved back to Mexico."
Torres said he decided not to file a formal lawsuit after Delgado was removed in June because he was concerned that it would slow down the case. Instead, Torres and attorney Lionel Perez worked with U.S. officials to resolve the case administratively.
Delgado's mother, who lives in Michoacan, Mexico, came up to the border on Thursday for an interview with U.S. immigration officials and provided them with extra paperwork, including a copy of her own Mexican birth certificate.
Job is lost
Delgado said immigration officials told him Friday that he was cleared to return to the United States.
The next day, he packed up his clothes at his cousin's home in Reynosa and crossed the border through the Hidalgo port of entry.
He arrived at the Houston apartment he shares with his brother to learn that his construction job is gone, he said.
Now Delgado is searching for work, he said, and hoping to take classes to improve his English.
Tucson Group “Polices” the Police on Immigration
New America Media, News Report, Valeria Fernández, Posted: Sep 16, 2010
TUCSON, Ariz.— A coalition of community groups in Tuscon is using video to show how readily police are cooperating with Border Patrol, despite local law enforcement’s stated opposition to Arizona’s new immigration law before it took effect.
The “Yo Soy Testigo” ("I’m a witness") campaign, launched by Tucson-based Coalición Derechos Humanos, seeks to shine a light on the practice of police cooperation with Border Patrol in the city.
The group, in partnership with PanLeft Productions and Migra Patrol CopWatch, has been using video cameras to document just how often police officers are detaining Latinos—with or without documents—and turning them over to immigration authorities. The group hopes that the videos will increase community awareness of how police are really treating Latinos, despite their supposed opposition to SB1070, and will pressure law enforcement to change its policies.
“We want to expose this reality and for people in the community to take responsibility,” said Isabel Garcia, director of Coalición de Derechos Humanos. She urges people to call the Yo Soy Testigo hotline to report any incidents so they can be videotaped and documented.
Prior to SB 1070, local police departments and other state agencies already had their own policies to detain undocumented immigrants on a discretionary basis. Had a court allowed the new law to take full effect, such detentions would have become mandatory throughout Arizona.
But the mandatory detention provision of SB 1070 provoked a strong outcry from the state's local law officers.
“We are not interested in enforcing federal immigration law,” said Captain Michael Gillooly, the Tucson Police Department's chief of staff. “The problem with SB 1070 is that it mandated we did that.”
In an interview with the Arizona Daily Star in July, Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villasenor said: “Although illegal immigration has undeniable impacts on Arizona, requiring local police already strapped for resources to act as immigration agents is not the answer.”
The Pima County Sheriff's Department and the South Tucson Police Department also opposed SB 1070.
But despite such widespread opposition, videos captured by Jason Aragon of PanLeft and Migra Patrol Copwatch show a different picture.
A recent video posted online, titled “SB 1070 is in full effect,” shows a woman detained by Tucson police and then shortly after taken away by Border Patrol.
Lynda Cruz, a volunteer with Migra Patrol CopWatch, was present that day, and said the woman was pulled over for a minor infraction. The woman, a legal resident, had forgotten her wallet at home and didn’t have any identification, Cruz says.
Volunteers like Cruz advise people who are detained to refuse to speak with their captors and to request the presence of their attorney.
When New America Media asked about this incident, Gillooly said the Tucson Police Department was confident that the officer acted appropriately and was following department policy.
“Our investigation of that revealed that when the Border Patrol arrived, that female refused to answer any questions,” Gillooly said. He said the federal agent was forced to take her to the station to check whether she was an undocumented immigrant.
When asked why the police detained this woman and called the Border Patrol, Gillooly said he wouldn’t provide any more information.
Cruz said similar incidents have occurred in South Tucson, an area that is predominantly Hispanic.
Gillooly said the department has not seen an increase in complaints from community members about possible racial profiling or police abuse.
“People don’t complain? How are they going to complain if they are the ones retaliated against?” responded Garcia of the Coalición de Derechos Humanos.
The situation in Tucson hasn’t attracted nearly as much media attention as the controversial immigration raids in Latino neighborhoods in Phoenix by Maricopa County sheriff’s deputies. But, in many ways, the dynamics at play in Tucson are creating heightened tensions.
About 40 percent of the city’s half-million residents are Latinos. Tucson, located less than two hours from the Mexican border, is also home to a Border Patrol station, which facilitates more direct cooperation between police and U.S. immigration authorities. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has 3,300 Border Patrol agents dedicated to the Tucson sector of the border.
In the past five years, the Border Patrol added 1,000 agents as part of a federal effort to escalate border security.
Unlike Phoenix, it is not uncommon to see Border Patrol cars driving through Tucson. Many of those who work at the Border Patrol station live in the community.
“People are divided over this issue,” said Alex González, a volunteer [or “promotoras”] with Coalición de Derechos Humanos. “Even families are divided on this.”
She said the new “Yo Soy Testigo” hotline has been flooded with calls denouncing police detentions and cooperation with Border Patrol.
One of the calls she took last week came from Gerardo Robles, a heartbroken undocumented immigrant, who sobbed over the phone in desperation. His wife, who was also undocumented, was pulled over by a Tucson police officer in a traffic stop. The officer called the Border Patrol, and now his wife is in a detention center.
Robles and his family have been living in Tucson for six years. He said they considered leaving the state because of SB 1070 but had been hoping for the best— in the past, police had stopped him on several occasions but had never called the Border Patrol. The politics behind SB 1070 might have changed things, he said.
“A criminal that traffics with drugs—those people are in the streets,” he said. “They are the ones that are free. My wife was coming back from work to feed our two children.”
Illegal workers arrested in Texas
Schauer: Outrageous Enbridge allowed this
By Roland Stoy
The Daily Reporter
Posted Sep 02, 2010 @ 05:15 PM
Winnie, Texas —
Illegal immigrants hired to work on the oil spill in Calhoun County were arrested by Chambers County, Texas authorities Wednesday.
Acting on a tip about two chartered buses parked behind a bank, deputies captured 42 found to be illegals.
A report from setx (southeastern Texas).com said around 40 of those on the buses ran and were able to escape, and those captured were taken to a holding facility in Houston.
Upon hearing about the incident, Congressman Mark Schauer issued a statement recalling the Enbridge pledge to “do the right thing.”
“Enbridge needs to live up to the commitment it made to our community, be a good neighbor, and start hiring qualified Michigan workers to clean up the spill,” said the Battle Creek Democrat. “Our community repeatedly asked the EPA and Enbridge to use local labor, and the fact that Enbridge allowed one of its contractors to hire illegal immigrants is appalling.”
Enbridge Energy Partners is the firm engaged in a massive cleanup operation along Talmadge Creek and the Kalamazoo River, where an estimated million gallons of oil began spilling into the creek in Marshall Township July 25.
Texas authorities said the buses had been chartered by Hallmark Industrial, a cleanup company subcontracting with Garner Environmental Services, subcontracting with Enbridge. Enbridge reportedly fired Hallmark earlier in the week.
Schauer had released letters sent to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) calling for an investigation of allegations of undocumented workers being used to clean up the spill.
Said Schauer, “It’s outrageous that Enbridge allowed undocumented workers to be hired to clean up the spill, showing complete disregard for our country’s labor laws. That’s why I called on federal agencies to conduct an investigation and hold responsible parties accountable for their actions,” said Schauer. “This situation should not have happened, and it is particularly troubling given the high unemployment rate in our state and the availability of HAZMAT-trained workers right here in Calhoun County that could be hired for these jobs.”
Enbridge President and CEO Pat Daniel said, in a news conference Wednesday, “We’ve now provided direct employment to approximately 500 Michigan residents and indirectly to probably hundreds of others in providing service to that direct workforce on the clean-up effort. We will continue to transition to a high percentage of local workers as we go forward.”
Reports have said up to 1,700 workers have been involved the effort.
Ten illegal immigrants caught after van stopped
Published: Friday, September 10, 2010
By ADAM MAWSON
MILAN — Four illegal immigrants ran from a van that was pulled over during a routine traffic stop on the Ohio Turnpike Wednesday, according to the U.S. Border Patrol. Six others were taken into custody as they stayed by the van. All the men, one from Guatemala, one from El Salvador and the rest from Mexico, were all in custody as of 5:30 a.m. yesterday, according to the Border Patrol.
Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Andy Patterson said agents from the Sandusky Bay Station in a marked border patrol vehicle on the Ohio Turnpike reported a minivan with California plates and 10 people inside driving suspiciously around 11:45 a.m. Wednesday. The agents said the people inside the van were visibly avoiding eye contact and slowing down to avoid the patrol vehicle.
“At one point, he (the driver of the van) was doing 35 mph on the Turnpike,” Patterson said. “Two and two just wasn’t adding up to four.”
As agents pulled over the minivan near US 250 the driver and three of the passengers fled from the vehicle, running south through a cornfield. Six of the passengers stayed with the van and were arrested by agents.
Border patrol called for their helicopter air unit as well as the Milan Highway Patrol Post and Erie and Huron counties sheriff deputies for assistance. One of the illegal immigrants was located in the cornfield with the use of the helicopter. In addition, 26 marijuana plants were found growing there.
Deputies investigated the plants, but did not find the person responsible for them, according to Erie County Sheriff’s Capt. Paul Sigsworth.
“It appeared they had been planted by a trespasser in this agricultural field,” he said.
The plants were removed by deputies and destroyed. Sigsworth said the street value was $1,000 per plant, or $26,000 in total.
Border Patrol Agent Corey Bammer said agents received numerous tips and 911 calls from citizens which helped them locate the suspects. Patterson said authorities received calls about some of the men trying to get into citizens’ cars or homes.
“I believe there was one lady that flagged officers down because one of the men tried to flag her down and get into her car,” Patterson said.
Sigsworth said deputies received a call around 9:03 p.m. Wednesday from an Erie County resident who met one of the immigrants at his home.
“A resident on Strecker Road reported a male came to his door asking for directions to Washington, D.C.,” Sigsworth said.
He added the man spoke very little English, but said he was very thirsty and had been hiding under a tree for several hours. The man was picked up by deputies and turned over to Border Patrol agents.
The driver of the minivan was apprehended in Norwalk around 5:30 a.m. yesterday while attempting to hitchhike. The driver had previously been arrested and deported by Border Patrol in 2008 while transporting eight illegal immigrants on the Ohio Turnpike, according to Patterson.
According to Patterson, agents will investigate each illegal immigrant to see if they have any charges against them. If not, they will be charged with being illegally present in the country and deported to their country of origin.
He added the driver may face additional charges through the US Attorney’s Office because he was transporting the other illegal immigrants.
In May, five illegal immigrants were arrested in a similar incident in Amherst.
“It’s kind of interesting because that’s what we see down south and it seems to be creeping up this way now in the norther border in general,” he said. “The Ohio Turnpike is a major thoroughfare for people traveling from the east to west coast area.”
The immigrants were apparently headed to New York, according to Patterson.
28 Illegal Immigrants From Iowa Arrested in ICE Midwest Operation
By Trish Mehaffey, Reporter
Story Created: Sep 1, 2010 at 8:17 PM CDT
There were 28 illegal immigrants from Iowa among 370 who were arrested last week in what U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement called the largest operation throughout 10 Midwestern states.
In the three day operation across Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Kansas, Missouri, Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota and Nebraska, 370 convicted criminal illegal immigrants and immigration fugitives were arrested, Carl Rusnok, director of communications for ICE said Wednesday. The enforcement wrapped up last Thursday.
The results of the enforcement action was released at a news conference in Chicago on Friday, Rusnok said. More than 350 ICE agents and officers along with several other agencies were involved.
The 28 from Iowa were arrested from all over the state, including Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Sioux City, Waterloo, Des Moines, Ft. Dodge, Ottumwa, Independence and Ames, Rusnok said.
There were 347 illegals with prior criminal convictions including nine gang members and 16 convicted sex offenders, according to ICE officials. More than 56 percent of the criminal immigrants arrested in this operation had prior convictions for serious or violent crimes and 51 of the people arrested were immigration fugitives – those with outstanding orders of deportation who had failed to leave the country.
Rusnok didn’t have any information on whether the individuals from Iowa were included in the 51 previously set for deportation or whether they were convicted in the 2008 Agriprocessors immigration raid in Postville.
20 illegal immigrants arrested in Orange County beach landing
-- Howard Blume
September 7, 2010 | 8:20 am
Border agents arrested 20 illegal immigrants Tuesday morning who were attempting to enter the country by sea at Calafia State Beach in San Clemente.
When the small craft the immigrants were riding in land landed, the occupants attempted to flee. Agents with the U.S. Border Patrol arrested 17 men and three women, all from Mexico.
A 36-year-old woman suffered a broken leg while jumping from the boat, according to a statement from the U.S. Border Patrol in San Diego. She was taken to a hospital for treatment. The others were taken to a Border Patrol station for processing.
No further details were immediately available, but the Associated Press said the incident occurred about 3 a.m.
3 of 4 illegals caught after lengthy search
1 charged with human smuggling
published: Friday, September 17, 2010
WILDWOOD -- Authorities captured three illegal aliens, and one remained at large Thursday after they escaped from the Okahumpka Service Plaza on Florida's Turnpike.
One suspect is being charged by the U.S. Border Patrol with human smuggling, police said.
The suspects, identified by police as Hispanic men, were in a 2000 Dodge Durango SUV with a Kansas tag, said Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Jorge Delahoz. FHP troopers pulled the suspects over at the plaza about 2:30 a.m. Thursday, determined that they were illegal aliens and detained them for the border patrol to pick up, Delahoz said.
As the four suspects saw the border patrol van entering the plaza, two fled on foot from the scene, Delahoz said. Two were caught almost immediately by FHP troopers, said Wildwood police Capt. Paul Valentino.
Wildwood police were called about 6 or 7 a.m. Thursday, said Chief E.W. Reeser. About 7:30 a.m., a Wildwood officer arrested Edwardo Gonzalez Rosales, identified by his Mexican driver's license, who allegedly drove the SUV. Rosales was charged by the border patrol with human smuggling, Valentino said.
Authorities did not have the identities of the other two suspects Thursday. They also said none of the four suspects faces state charges.
Investigators thought they had the at-large suspect narrowed to an area around U.S. Highway 301 and State Road 44.
Wildwood police went door-to-door in Parkwood Manor, a retirement neighborhood, asking for information about the fugitive, Reeser said.
Sumter County sheriff's officials also used police dogs and a helicopter to search for the suspect. Officials with Sumter Correctional Institution also sent their police dogs to help with the search.
As of Thursday afternoon, police said they thought the at-large suspect, identified as Sebastian Perez Gomez, was somewhere in the area of County Road 501, near the Turnpike. He is wanted by the Border Patrol on a charge of illegal immigration, Valentino said.
Deputies Arrest 23 Illegals Tuesday Night
POSTED: 2:35 pm MST September 15, 2010
PHOENIX -- Sheriff Joe Arpaio reports that his deputies arrested 23 illegal immigrants Tuesday night. This brings the week’s total to 35 illegal immigrants arrested while engaging in human smuggling.
The arrests were the result of two traffic stops in the North Valley involving two separate vehicles. One vehicle contained 13 occupants and the other had 12. During one of the traffic stops, two suspects fled on foot into the desert.
"Even though the media hype surrounding SB 1070 has worn off for now, illegal aliens continue to sneak into the United States through Maricopa County and my deputies continue to pursue them as they have for the past three years," said Arpaio.
During the course of their duties, Maricopa County Sheriff’s officers have been responsible for investigating, arresting and/or identifying more than 40,000 illegal immigrants.
Sheriff Arpaio plans to commission a volunteer armed posse force outfitted with appropriate hardware and gear to assist in the enforcement of illegal immigration and human smuggling laws.
5 alleged gang members arrested at WHHS
By Ken Stanford Editor
Posted: Tuesday, September 21st 2010 at 11:36am
OAKWOOD - Five alleged gang members were arrested at West Hall High School Monday after a birthday celebration for one of them got out of hand.
Lt. Scott Ware of the Gainesville-Hall County Gang Task Force says Nixon Cruz, 17, Gainesville and Jonathon Rodriguez, 18, Gainesville and three juveniles starting horsing around with the victim, who was celebrating a birthday.
"What started out as some horse play in the locker room involving the five gang members - they attempted to hit on him a number of times, one hit...for each year of age that he was," Lt. Ware said.
Ware says the victim was not seriously injured. Each of the suspects is charged with battery and violating the street gang and terrorism act.
The two adults are also being held for immigration authorities because, according to Ware, they are illegal immigrants.
School officials said the five students have been suspended, pending a tribunal hearing.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Undocumented immigrant busted
A resident of San Marcos, Texas was arrested for transporting an undocumented Mexican
Monday, September 20, 2010
LAREDO, TX.- A resident of San Marcos, Texas was arrested for transporting an undocumented Mexican towards north Texas.
According to official reports, Rosendo Cuestas drove a vehicle on interstate highway 35 and when he arrived to the immigration checkpoint he seemed very nervous.
Cuestas was accompanied by a passenger that did not have documents when Border Patrol officials asked for them.
The driver and the pasenger were sent to a secondary inspection. Officials then detected the passenger was an illegal immigrant.
The man declared to authorities that he paid 3,300 dollars to be transported to San Antonio, Texas.